₺7 to Paradise: Dilek Peninsula National Park

image

 

Dilek Peninsula National Park, also locally known as Milli Park, is just 15 miles (30km approx.) south of Kusadasi.

The three main beaches of Milli Park are:

Icmeler, sandy beach (1st stop, closest to the entrance)
Aydinlik Koyu, little stone beach (2nd)
Kavakli Burun, big stone beach (3rd and most beautiful, least crowded)

It’s about 45min drive from Kusadasi city centre to the park entrance or you can simply take a “dolmus”. The dolmus are minibuses that run very frequently and you can take them everywhere along bus routes and you can also get off wherever and whenever you want.
The dolmus system could easily be the most common and affordable form of transportation for Kusadasi and its surrounding area.

   

    
 

Advertisements

Sunrise and Sunset in Kuşadasi, Turkey

 
 During my one month’s stay at Kuşadasi, I tried to catch sunset whenever I can. When your surrounding is this beautiful, watching sunset naturally becomes a daily favourite activity.   
   
   

  
   
  

   

  
  

Kuşadası, Turkey 2015

Kusadasi is one of Turkey’s most popular holiday resorts, situated on the west coast of Turkey. It is easy to do day trips from Kusadasi to important historical sites including Ephesus, Temple of Artemis, Goddess Artemis, House of Virgin Mary, Seven Sleepers, Didyma, Priene, Miletos.     A beach town with typical Mediterranean climate (hot summers and mild winters), it’s not hard to figure out why Kusadasi is one of the most popular destinations for Northern Europeans.       With 24 hours after arriving Kusadasi, I already had the pleasure to taste two traditional Turkish meals.  Menemen is a traditional Turkish dish which includes eggs, onion, tomato, green peppers, and spices such as ground black pepper, ground red pepper, salt and oregano. Lahmacun is a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (mostly beef/lamb) and minced vegetables and herbs, then baked.      Lady’s Beach is certainly one of the nicer beaches I could walk to. As touristy as it is, I surely enjoyed taking pictures of children playing.


Today I made the smart decision of walking uphill. What a difference it made! Gone are all the touristy shops and you get a view of the actually town/ village. While spotting a few locals walking home with their grocery, I also saw a rooster, a house and a random Ferris wheel.


I really enjoyed watching this mother watching her child play. There is just something moving and beautiful about the way she could enjoy the beach while being comfortable in her traditional clothing.

 

Kadayıflı Muhallebi Tarifi

I am in Turkey during Ramadan season and I had the honour to join a traditional Turkish family for Itfar.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.

Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Iftar is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together.

My Iftar with a traditional Turkish family starts with a tomato based soup served with shredded cheese; followed by traditional Turkish Raviolis/dumplings served with yogurt; and grilled vegetables served as the main sharing dish.

  
 

Wine and Dine in Istanbul, Turkey 2015

rooftop view from Balkon restaurant and bar

Best restaurant/bar/cafe with an amazing view and ambience

Balkon Restaurant Bar

🏠Şehbender sk. No:5 Kat 6 Asmalı Mescid Beyoğlu / İstanbul

Places to dance to good electronic/techno/house music

Kiki Istanbul

Katip Çelebi Mh., Sıraselviler Caddesi No:42, Turkey

Best value-for-money place to eat

Dehliz Restaurant 

🏠Vezirhan Cad. No:48 Çemberlitaş/ İstanbul, 34122, Turkey


Tips on bathroom (WC) etiquette

Most bathrooms in Istanbul have sensor-controlled lights. Hence, unless you enjoy having 80% of your peeing/pooping process in complete darkness, it is advised to do elaborated hands dance over your head

Balkon restaurant and bar

Weekend with Love in Madrid 2015

After the longest 17 days of my life, I finally got to spend a lovely weekend in Madrid with my love.

El Retiro- Jardine del Buen Retiro

Madrid has one of the best public transportations in Europe. It is affordable (£2 flat rate for all journeys on metro); it is efficient (trains are frequent and are almost always on time); it is simple (all the metro lines are numbered, e.g. line C6, instead of having to remember a complicated station name in a foreign language)

Paseo de la Castellana

Mercado de San Miguel

Helado de Turrón is one of the “must tries” while visiting Madrid. I got mine from RODILLA in Puerta Delhi Sol. At only €1.95, the portion is extremely generous.

Puerta del Sol

Turrón is a nougat-like confectionery mostly made with almonds, mixed with sugar, honey and egg whites. A typical Christmas fare all over Spain that was originated from southeast Mediterranean coast, in the region of Valencia.

street art cortes district

Cortes is certainly my favorite neighbourhood to wander and explore. There are countless restaurants and boutique shops. Every shop in Cortes is so thoughtfully decorated that each place offers you a unique set of ambience and personality.

I particularly enjoyed my stroll from Plaza del Angel to Plaza de Lavapiés via Calle Olivar.

plaza de la Montera

On the other hand, if you are having a constant love affair with literature, you certainly should not miss the book stalls along Calle Claudio Moyano. They sell everything from old books that only cost €1 to vintage collections at heavily discounted price.

Salamanca neighbourhood

If you have any form of  OCD, then Mercado de San Antón would be your example of how a market should look like in heaven. From chorizos to the smallest cherries, everything is perfectly aligned to the perfect angle.

Embajadores neighbourhood

The arrival of night time is when the magic happens& here comes the spectacular

Templo de Debod at 10:13pm

Undiscovered Andalucía-Spain 2015

The irony: during my four years living abroad in Houston, Texas; one of my favourite restaurants is called “Andalucia”. Back then, I was quite proud of my knowledge of tapas and flamenco as something distinctively Spanish and remotely Mexican. 

Embalse de La Bolera en Pozo Alcón

Fast forward four years later, when unexpected life events brought me to this part of the world, I realize how little I know about Andalucia. As the cliché goes, the more you travel, the more you realise how little you know about the world. There is always a new place/ culture/ people that’s awaiting to be discovered. Of course, I am determined to educate myself. 

 

  
Andalucía and the Moorish influence

The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in 711 AD when an African army from Northern Africa invaded  Al-Andalús, or Andalucía as it is today.  This 800 years of Moorish ruling has left some of the most magnificent art and architecture that could be seen in Spain today.